Sniper X
July 15, 2010, 11:51 AM
So if you had to explain to someone in a nutshell what the difference was, how would you explain it?

thanks all.....

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July 15, 2010, 12:48 PM
one is run and gun the other is use cover closer to reality

Sniper X
July 15, 2010, 01:16 PM
Aren't there also differences in equipment?

Jim Watson
July 15, 2010, 01:48 PM
Well, kind'a - sort'a.
IDPA has no Divison for the scope sighted compensated .38 Super IPSC Open gun or the high capacity, long dust cover, .40 Limited.

On the other hand, you could do very well with the same 1911 in USPSA Limited-10 or Single Stack and IDPA Custom Defensive Pistol or Enhanced Service pistol.
An IDPA Stock Service Pistol would be an IPSC Production gun, you would just need more magazines for Production.

IPSC/USPSA is "freestyle" as to where and when to shoot at the targets, IDPA is choreographed to their standards of use of cover and movement.

Some shoot both and call it all worthwhile trigger time. Others - me included - find that an IPSC approach will get you penalized in IDPA and an IDPA approach will slow you down and reduce your score in IPSC.

July 15, 2010, 03:53 PM
Once upon a time I explained it this way:

on the face of it, USPSA (IPSC) and IDPA are very similar. Both requiring one shooter at a time to negotiate a course of fire as quickly as possible while engaging (shooting) multiple targets from various positions and around obstacles, also while not shooting "non-threat" targets.

USPSA is more of what some call a "run & gun" event. You shoot targets as fast as you can in whatever order you wish, from whatever locations are allowed. There are various divisions to allow competition with off-the-shelf guns, single-stack guns, revolvers, and all the way up to "race" guns with compensators and optic sights. You may drop your magazines and ammo and reload whenever you wish. Concealment garments and the use of positions of cover are not required. USPSA also expands the game to include rifles and shotguns in special two-gun and three-gun matches. USPSA matches tend to higher round counts, and the competition can be extremely fierce, especially as they can have cash prizes.

IDPA was formed as a reaction against some of the "excesses" or "impracticalities" of IPSC. IDPA is supposed to more closely reflect "real-world" shooting scenarios that an average CCW type might have to deal with. It doesn't do this terribly strictly, and isn't much of a substitute for defensive shooting training, but some folks really do enjoy that focus. In IDPA you will be required to shoot from positions of cover (behind corners, obstacles, etc.) instead of from out in the open. You will generally have to wear a coat, jacket, or vest that conceals your handgun. You will have to retain all live rounds while shooting, as the philosophy of the game doesn't allow you to abandon ammunition that you could possibly find a need for later. Reloads are only to be performed in a position of cover, and, again, you can't drop a half-full mag -- you've got to retain it.

Your gun, ammo, holster, and mag pouches must conform to a set of guidelines which try to define what might be practical on the street. (No "Open" class race guns. No competition-only skeleton holsters. Etc.)

IDPA round counts are a bit lower, usually, (maybe 80-120 rds. per club match, rarely more than 250 for a major match). There are no cash prizes, and the competitiveness might be described as a little more relaxed.

Some folks find IDPA to be a bit stifling with all the rules of what you can shoot where and when, where you can reload, etc. Others find them a fun challenge.

July 15, 2010, 10:01 PM
Sam1911 gave a good synopsis.

Jim Watson also nailed a big difference: IDPA is choreographed

IPSC & USPSA require to the shooter to plan the stage including when and how to change mags. Some stages require the shooter to be 'in front of' or 'behind' certain positions, but how to get there and in what order are usually determined by the shooter.

Example: With a wheel gun, you plan the stage with 6 shots, in production/limited 10 class-10rds in the mag, in limited/open class all the rounds the mag can hold. Planning where to reload, lets you avoid the dead time from a standing reloading.

In other words, the shooter 'choreographs' most/all of the stage not the rule book.

And finally, there is no requirement 'to show any self-protection' from the targets in IPSC/USPSA other than an occassional 'shoot from behind the barrel/baricade' when engaging these targets.

Hk Dan
July 16, 2010, 03:27 PM
The styles are different, but so are the shooters. I've found IDPA to be more relaxed, quite a bit less competitive, and actively disdainful of gaming.

Don't get me wrong--I love USPSA, and I LIKE the competitive aspect. Sam's point about choreogrpahy is dead on--IDPA is scripted and USPSA's general philosophy is "Engage targets as they become visible"--free form.

You'll learn more about your deficiencies as a shooter in USPSA, but you'll do things you may actually have to do in real life in IDPA. What do I mean? Well, if I'm ever confronted by 15 terrorists, 5 mounted on a spinning wheel, 2 that just swing back and forth, and one that turns to face me for a half second then turns away? I'm shooting the 2 closest to the door and running...The former would be a USPSA stage, the latter would be an IDPA stage...<g>

The Expert
July 16, 2010, 04:22 PM
I never took part in a match with either of these organizations but have been interested in it.

I think I'll explore IDPA from what I read here. I don't see myself in a run-n-gun situation.

Hk Dan
July 16, 2010, 10:23 PM
Expert, Which ever you have closest to you will be good.

So long as you don't look at the experience as formal training but as practice? You're good togo.

Jim Watson
July 16, 2010, 10:40 PM
+1 as the Internetistas say.

I shoot IDPA these days but am not dogmatic about it.
If IPSC/USPSA is closer to you, go for it.
If both are readily available, check them out and go with the one where you get the best reception from shooters and staff.

David E
July 18, 2010, 12:00 AM
So if you had to explain to someone in a nutshell what the difference was, how would you explain it?

In a nutshell? IPSC is the fun one!

July 18, 2010, 01:27 PM
USPSA is a shooting sport that focus' more on shooting, reloading, problem solving skills( my kind of Sunday cross word puzzle). I use this for fun and to relax. IDPA is a Defensive shooting sport were the focus is more on defensive tactics on staying alive and using your weapon to that purpose. I can use this to train for CCW and life on the streets but I did not find this venue as relaxing but more stressful. Some practice is better than no practice. I think the rules of IDPA can be silly as to type of holsters, types of mags and types of guns to maintain equity for the match. In real life there is no equity on the street. Those who prepare and practice survive while those who count on others may not.

July 18, 2010, 01:32 PM
In a nutshell? IPSC is the fun one!

Yes. Realistic scenarios, like "parking lot attack" where you start with an armload of groceries, with a car to use as cover, targets on rails, etc., are why I like IPSC. Teaches you to move, how to use cover, how to reload fast under pressure. IDPA is all right, but I'm an IPSC fan.

July 18, 2010, 04:44 PM
Both are games. There is the real world which has no rules. Neither prepares you for the real word. The advocates of either one we’ll tell you that it sharpens your basic skills. No matter how sharp you are in either game in the real word you may have a bad day and a quick ending. In either game mentioned at the end of the day you’ll walk away win lose or draw.

Quickdraw McGraw
July 18, 2010, 06:24 PM
I am a certified IDPA SO, so naturally I like IDPA! Our club also has USPSA and I shoot it each month also. Hell I luv em both ~ they keep me casting, reloading and shooting. The way I see it ~ as long as I'm shooting I am getting better with my gun. Plus being around so many good shooters I have picked up a few good ideas and tips! I think the more you shoot the better you get. Besides gun folk are about the nicest people to be around!

Going to try a 3 gun match later this summer! And I thought golf was expensive.

July 18, 2010, 06:29 PM
QDM, where do you shoot?

Quickdraw McGraw
July 18, 2010, 07:12 PM
I shoot here (http://www.hollidaysburgsportsmensclub.com/)!

Where do you shoot Sam?

July 18, 2010, 08:47 PM
Ha! That's awesome! When you said your club did both I wondered if you shot with Dan and Corey. I SO'd the Independence Match up in Wilkes-Barre this weekend and got to see them and Shannon again -- all did VERY well! (Not that that's a big surprise. :))

I'm Match Director at West Shore Sportsman's Association just south of Harrisburg. (Here (http://www.sightspracticalshooter.com/default.php).)

I do occasionally make it out to Hollidaysburg, but haven't this year. (2 hours+ from home and money and time are both VERY tight these days.) I'll try to get to the night shoot, though. That's always too much fun.

Quickdraw McGraw
July 18, 2010, 09:16 PM
Yep, I started a year or two ago. I've been trying to help Corey out this year. He's got some other guys who help him but I really like shooting and just wanted to be more involved. As you know even club matches are pretty involved. Some who shoot don't really understand what goes into a match.

Yep Dan and Corey are good guys! I'm lucky to have this club in my area!

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